Saturday, September 25, 2010



Radio Vaticana report: Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday met with bishops from East Region I of Brazil who are in Rome on their ad limina visits.Meeting at the Papal Residence in Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father spoke to the Brazilian bishops about the importance of confession in the life of a Christian.Pope Benedict reminded the bishops that Jesus came to save not those who have liberated themselves by thinking they do not need Him, but the sinners who acknowledge their reliance on Him.The Holy Father says we need the Divine Sculptor who removes the build-up of dust and debris which obscures the Image of God placed in us.The Pope said as we remove the waste which makes us unrecognizable as an image of God, we become more and more like Christ – who is the true Image of God.
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CNA REPORT- “Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated: God is calling a sufficient number of men to be priests in the Catholic Church because he loves you and he loves your children and he loves your grandchildren. And the purpose of the priest is to bring people to Jesus and Jesus to people.”With these words, Father Brett Brannen opened his Sept. 3 talk at the Serra International Convention in Anchorage, where more than 200 lay Catholics from nine countries gathered to learn how to better promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life.Father Brannen is the vice-rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland and former vocation director of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia. His work in vocations has led him to the fundamental belief that God will find priests for the Catholic Church.Not without prayer“He is infinite in power. He can solve this problem for us,” Father Brannen told an attentive crowd at the Dena’ina Convention Center in Anchorage.“When I was first named vocation director in Savanna, we had only two seminarians and it didn’t look good. There was very little happening to promote a culture,” he said. “Many of our priests were very discouraged, and everyone was throwing up there hands and saying, ‘We’re never going to have priests in Savannah.’”He, too, was discouraged until his spiritual director rebuked him for his lack of faith and told him, “God could raise up priests by snapping his fingers.”But that is not how God works, Father Brannen added.“We must do our part. Not because God needs us, but because he wants to give us a chance to demonstrate our dignity by being a part of this great work,” he said. ““Running a vocation program is 99.9 percent God’s grace and .1 percent our human effort. I may be exaggerating our part, but that .1 percent is an enormous effort on our part.”Mostly, that effort entails prayer, he added.Quoting Blessed Hannibal DiFrancia, Father Brannen said, “‘Jesus teaches us that vocations in the church do not come by chance, nor by themselves, nor can we make them out of human effort alone. They come to us from the mercy of God. If we do not pray to obtain them, they will not be given us.’”He noted that prayer must begin in the home.Father Brannen especially highlighted the impact of families who pray together.Specifically, he spoke of the role of the father and said that studies indicate that children are 45 percent more likely to grow up to be practicing Catholics if they pray with their father.“Why is that? Because to a little, tiny child, the father of the family is the most authoritative person in the world,” Father Brannen explained. “Because of his large stature, his deep voice — he is the head of the family. When a little child sees their father kneeling and talking to Jesus, he says, ‘I don’t know who this Jesus is but I need him, too.’”A New Discernment GuideTo aid young men in their vocation journey, Father Brannen wrote a book, published this year, “To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood.”The book provides answers to nearly 200 questions about the priesthood and the process of discerning a call to the priesthood. It takes readers through the whole process of discernment, from the first inklings about the priesthood to ordination day.“Young men need good information about priesthood because priesthood is a radical commitment and requires celibacy — it can be very intimidating,” Father Brannen said of his motives for writing the book.He added that “most young men today, even Catholic young men who grew up in Catholic schools, do not have enough good information about priesthood to properly discern if that is their vocation.”The book deals with questions like: Does God want me to be a priest? How do I know I can live celibacy? How is the priest’s soul changed when he is ordained? How do I overcome all these fears? How soon should I contact my vocation director? Should I date before I go to the seminary? What if a man has been sexually active in the past?Other chapters deal with how parents can support their sons during the discernment process.Despite the many challenges to the faith, Father Brannen said he has great hope for the priesthood and the future of the Catholic Church.In recent years, he has seen younger men entering seminary and they are quality seminarians, he said.“They love Jesus,” Father Brannen observed. “The church is raising up young men who are going to be wonderful, wonderful priests.”To order a copy of Father Brannen’s new book, “To Save a Thousand Souls,” visit vianneyvocations.com
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Ind. Cath. News report:Two peacebuilders from the Middle East - one Jewish, one Muslim will be in the UK next month, sharing their stories of hope for peace and reconciliation, despite all the trauma experienced by people in the region.Sufi Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, spiritual teacher, peace negotiator, author and Islamic scholar, accompanied by his wife Laila, is speaking with Jewish musician and story-teller Hanna Jaffe, who performs internationally.The 'Stories 4 Peace' tour is organised and coordinated by Spirit of Peace, a UK charity. Ghassan and Hanna will be speaking in East Sussex, Oxford, Abingdon, Gloucester, Warwick, Worcester, Exeter, Westminster, Havant, London and Tunbridge Wells. Jane Ozanne, Director of Spirit of Peace said: “I am looking forward to hearing the wonderful story telling of Ghassan and Hanna. Their stories help us take a fresh look at peace and reconciliation in our own lives and communities". For more information see: Tour Dates & Venues:Sunday 3 October: 2.30pm Mistletoe Barn, Hurst Green East Sussex. TN19 7PX (Booking required 01580 860063)Monday 4 October: 7.30pm The Ark Centre, Cromwell Road, Oxford OX4 3LNTuesday 5 October: 2pm St Ethelwold's 30 East Helen Street, Abingdon OX14 5EB (Booking required 01235 555486 )Thursday 7 October: 7pm The Civic Suite, Gloucester City Council, North Warehouse,The Docks, Gloucester. GL1 2EPSunday 10 October: 7.30pm The Dream Factory, Playbox Theatre, Shelley Avenue, Warwick. CV34 6LE (Booking required 01926 419555)Monday 11 October: 7pm St John's Parish Church Bromward Road Worcester WR2 5BSTuesday 12 October 7.30pm The Mint Methodist Church Fore Street Exeter. EX4 3ATWednesday 13 October: 3.30pm The Chapel, Methodist Central Hall, Westminster. SW1H 9NH (Booking required 07504 633 985)Thursday 14 October: 7.30pm United Reformed Church, Elm Lane, Havant. PO9 1PPSaturday 16 October 7.30pm Moishe House London, NW2 (for info email )Sunday 17 October: 1pm The Camden Centre, Market Sq. Tunbridge Wells. TN1 2SW (Booking Required Pat Churchill )
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Asia News report: At the request of Paschim Medinipur district magistrate, the Salesians have organized training courses for young people without a job. The attempt is to provide them with the skills necessary to resist Maoist influence.Kolkata (AsiaNews) - In Calcutta the Salesians are organizing training courses for young people without a job. All of them come from the district of Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, a Maoist-dominated area. The request, made approximately seven months ago, came from Narayan Swaroop Nigam, district magistrate, to set up training courses for young men and women in different professional fields at the Self-Employment Research Institute (SERI) in Calcutta. The cost of three months training plus housing is borne entirely by the local government. After the course, the administration itself is responsible for providing jobs for these young people, both inside and outside Paschim Medinipur district. Currently, two groups - each consisting of about 100 children - have already completed basic training, while a third is being set up.The goal is to provide training on several levels. Father Sunil Kerketta reveals: "We not only provide professional training, but also build and form their character so that they would be productive and responsible citizens who could work for their society and communities. It is they who could bring the social change and development as enlighten people taking the path of prosperity, peace and denounce violence in any form”.The aim of the project is twofold. With it the local government hopes to decrease the level of unemployment among young people, and weaken the Maoist influence in the area. Most of these children are marginalized, illiterate, poor, thus easy prey of the Maoist movement, which recruits youngsters by offering them employment opportunities. As Fr. Jude Sebastian points out: "Once they are educated and have necessary skills for the earning through their jobs, they would be less likely join Maoists groups”.he Maoists are active in many parts of India, particularly in the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The government in New Delhi considers the guerrillas a threat to the country because of the many attacks carried out in recent years at a cost of hundreds of lives.
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Agenzia Fides report - “Culture, Identity of Peoples, and Development in Africa and in the Black Diaspora.” This is the theme of a Forum being promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture, in collaboration with the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which will take place in March 2011 in Abidjan, in Ivory Coast.A preparatory meeting for the Forum will be held September 27 to October 1 at the Pastoral Missionary Center of RECOWA-CERAO (Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa) in Abidjan. Msgr. Barthélemy Adoukonou, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Father Theodore Mascarenhas, head of the Department for Cultures of Emerging Countries, will represent the Pontifical Council for Culture. Fr. Massimo Cenci, PIME, Under-Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples will represent his Dicastery. The meeting will also be attended by Archbishop Ambroise Madtha, Apostolic Nuncio to Ivory Coast, Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Saar, President of RECOWA-CERAO and Vice-President of SECAM/SCEAM (Symposium of Bishops' Conferences of Africa and Madagascar), many bishops and theologians, as well as the Ambassadors of Ivory Coast and Benin.A statement sent to Fides explains the purpose of the initiative: "This year Africa celebrates fifty years of independence from colonial power for most of the nations which compose it. At the same time, it also commemorates the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the great man of culture, Alioune Diop. To what extent has this continent, rich in a variety of hues and colors, benefited from its independence? What marks of development are seen in the life of the people and what has been the impact of globalization on the cultures of this continent? The Pontifical Council for Culture, in collaboration with the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, plans to create a forum together with representatives of various church organizations, international and non-governmental, to find strategic ways and means through which 'development' can be promoted by the human person created in the image and likeness of God, the central point in any consideration and any initiative.""The Forum, which will take place in March 2011, aims to articulate reflection on the theme: 'Culture, Identity of Peoples, and Development in Africa and in the Black Diaspora.' Moreover, it aspires to become a permanent forum of reflection from which can come concrete proposals, allowing a real commitment in the field of culture and education, as a springboard for Africa's development.The Pontifical Council for Culture and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples continue to argue that the joint reflection by pastors and theologians in Africa and the diaspora is of decisive importance," the statement concludes.
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Cath News report: A Legislative Assembly committee will examine future options for Canberra's Calvary Public Hospital, saying the ACT Government has thus far poorly handled a process of trying to buy the hospital from the Little Company of Mary.The Government had wanted to buy the hospital, claiming it had to because it could not continue to invest in an asset it did not own. But the it withdrew from the deal after receiving accounting advice that it could already count the facility as an asset, reports the ABC.It was the second time the Calvary deal had fallen through.The Opposition has successfully moved a motion referring options for Calvary to the Legislative Assembly's health committee for scrutiny.Opposition health spokesman Jeremy Hanson told the Assembly he wants to ensure mistakes of the past are not repeated."We've come to a point where we simply can't trust the Government to get it right," he said."They have proved from the process over the last two years that they have failed to do so."This is a Government that nearly cost us $77 million. If it weren't for essentially the mishandling of the negotiations we would have found ourselves $77 million poorer."IN OTHER NEWS, the Little Company of Mary Health Care has announced that John Watkins has been appointed the new Chair of the Little Company of Mary Health Care Limited.Mr Watkins will take up his position as Chair at the November 2010 AGM when the term of the current Chair expires. He was a NSW Government Minister for eight years, holding a number of senior portfolios.Since leaving Parliament, he has been the CEO of Alzheimer's Australia NSW, and intends to continue his relationship with that organisation on a reduced basis."Mr Watkins will bring to the LCM Board leadership skills and an understanding of the Mission and Ministry necessary to support LCM Health Care's move into the future with confidence," Sr Jennifer Barrow LCM, Province Leader of the LCM Sisters, said.
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St. FinbarrBISHOPFeast: September 25Information:Feast Day:September 25Born:550 AD, near Bandon, IrelandDied:620 AD, Cloyne, County Cork, IrelandPatron of:CorkBishop and patron of Cork, born near Bandon, about 550, died at Cloyne, 25 September, 623, was son of Amergin. He evangelized Gowran, Coolcashin, and Aghaboe, and founded a school at Eirce. For some years he dwelt in a hermitage at Gougane Barra, where a beautiful replica of Cormac's chapel has recently been erected in his honour. Finbarr was buried in the cathedral he built where Cork city now stands. He was specially honoured also at Dornoch and Barra, in Scotland. There are five Irish saints of this name.SOURCE
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: SEPT. 25: Luke 9: 43 - 45
Luke 9: 43 - 4543And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But while they were all marveling at everything he did, he said to his disciples,44"Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men."45But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
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